18-15 Segment 2: The Mystery of Meniere’s Disease

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Imagine waking up and no longer being able to hear in one of your ears. And, after losing the ability to hear, you are suddenly affected by bouts of vertigo attacks that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. This is what happened to James Raath, business consultant and author of Love Mondays, who suffers from Meniere’s disease which is a disease that is caused by a fluid imbalance in the inner ear that forces the membrane separating the chambers to rupture.

Dr. David Friedland, Professor and Vice Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Medical College of Wisconsin, explains that this disease is commonly diagnosed, however, it is an uncommon disease to have. While the main symptoms, tinnitus and vertigo, are experienced by many people, the presence of both does not necessarily imply that the person has Meniere’s. Furthermore, Dr. Friedland explains that it is unknown whether the rupturing of the membrane is caused by the endolymphatic sac absorbing too little or too much fluid. But, the sufferer will be relieved of the symptoms once the membrane fixes itself. However, regular occurrences of this rupturing can have long term effects. Dr. Friedland explains that a person may suffer from progressive loss of hearing and increased weakness in the balance system.

So, what can be done to stop the progression of this disease? Dr. Friedland explains a few ways in which physicians can go about treating Meniere’s disease. The first, he says, is allergy medicine because allergies appear to be a trigger that can set off the fluid imbalance. Another way that he suggests to counteract the disease is to consume a low salt diet and water pills. In some cases, Dr. Friedland states some patients may get a shot that can drain excess fluid in the ear and improve the hearing loss. A final treatment that he explains is ablation which destroys the balance cells within the inner ear. The goal of this procedure is to reduce vertigo by making it so that an imbalance of fluid in the ear does not affect the balance system that causes vertigo. However, he warns that this procedure does not change the disease process, but instead, only changes the balance system so it cannot be stimulated by the disorder. While there is no cure to Meniere’s disease, there are many ways in which those who suffer from the disease can work to counteract or slow down the process.

Guests:

  • James Raath, business consultant and author of Love Mondays
  • Dr. David Friedland, Professor and Vice Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Medical College of Wisconsin

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18-09 Segment 2: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

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Vomiting is not a pleasurable experience for anybody, but most people do not suffer from it all that often. However, people with cyclic vomiting syndrome may experience this discomfort once or twice a month for 24 to 48 hours, and sometimes, even up to ten days. Kathleen Adams is the mother of a cyclic vomiting sufferer and the founder, President, and Research Liaison of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association. She explains that her daughter began having episodes of vomiting as a baby that would last for two and a half to three days. She went undiagnosed for ten years, before finding a doctor who recognized her symptoms and was able to prescribe her medicine that helped decrease the severity of the episodes.

Due to the fact that this syndrome is not well known, many people do not know what to look for or how to prevent it. Dr. B Li, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Cyclic Vomiting Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, states that cyclic vomiting syndrome is defined as  recurrent spells of vomiting that can make individuals vomit to the point of dehydration, and even hinder their ability to walk and talk. She explains that these episodes can be triggered from stress, lack of sleep, prolonged fasting, and even exciting events. Although, it can sometimes be prevented if the patient or caregiver is able to identify the trigger that sets off an episode.

While there are ways to help prevent cyclic vomiting syndrome through medications and understanding what triggers an episode, it still remains difficult to treat. Dr. Li states that studies have sought to address how debilitating the syndrome is and it has been proven to impact the quality of life to the same degree as diseases such as Crohn’s disease. However, Dr. Katja Kovacic, pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, explains that most children eventually outgrow cyclic vomiting syndrome by adolescence. Unfortunately for many, it can evolve into other symptoms, such as migraine headaches. Despite being something a person may eventually outgrow, it is important to understand the impact the syndrome has on those who suffer from it as well as their caregivers.

Guests:

  • Kathleen Adams, mother of cyclic vomiting sufferer and the founder, President, and Research Liason of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association
  • Dr. B Li, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Cyclic Vomiting Program at Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Dr. Katja Kovacic, pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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16-15 Segment 2: Ménière’s Disease

 

Synopsis: Experts discuss symptoms and treatments of Ménière’s disease, an often misdiagnosed disorder producing loss of hearing and crippling vertigo.

Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: James Raath, business consultant and author, Love Mondays; Dr. David Friedland, Professor and Vice Chair, Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin

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Subscribe and review on iTunes!

Click here for the transcript

15-40 Segment 2: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

 

Synopsis: Children suffering from a rare disorder called cyclic vomiting may vomit for days on end once or twice a month. Experts describe how the disorder is often misdiagnosed and remains difficult to treat. However, children often eventually outgrow the disorder as it transitions into migraine headaches.

Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Kathleen Adams, mother of cyclic vomiting sufferer and founder, President and Research Liason, Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association; Dr. B Li, Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Cyclic Vomiting Program, Medical College of Wisconsin; Dr. Katja Kovacic, pediatric gastroenterologist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Links for more information:

Click here for the transcript